A recently released research report finds that Millennials are moving out of New Jersey. The youngest generation is drawn to urban-like areas where they can live, work, and play without having to drive a car.
The research was conducted by New Jersey Future, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, and included a new analysis of Census data that points toward two trends: one, Millennials are moving to walkable, urban, town centers; two, the Millennial population is on the decline in New Jersey. New Jersey simply doesn’t have enough towns that enable residents to walk to work as well as amenities, dining, and entertainment; although, there has been a steady increase of towns designated as transit centers since 1999.
Millennials are the largest generation in American history and essential to the economy of New Jersey. “They are leaders in living a less car-centric lifestyle. We as a state need to think about how to attract and retain this generation,” said New Jersey Future Executive Director Pete Kasabach.
Only one out of five New Jersey municipalities scored well on all three of the smart-growth metrics: net activity density, the presence of a mixed-use center, and walkability plus street connectivity.
Housing prices could be a factor as well. Director of Research Tim Evans noted, “A number of municipalities scored high on smart-growth metrics and yet are not seeing high concentrations of Millennials. A lack of affordable housing options for people beginning their careers could be keeping Millennials out of these towns and cities.”